about banks

I'm trying to fully grok my personal expenses using beancount.

My bank lets me download my transactions as CSV files, and I am able to convert everything.

Frustrating the CSV files don't match up with the statement, probably due to when payments go through.

But that also means I can't easily verify one against the other!

· · Web · 1 · 0 · 1

@emacsen (long time beancount user here) nah, it does match for sure, you're probably just not downloading all date fields and/or not using the right ones in comparisons


I'm sure you're being helpful but how do you know that my bank's CSV match its paper statements?

I can assure you 100% they don't.

@emacsen you're right I couldn't know for sure for your bank. (My apologies for that.) But the collective experience in the plain text accounting community is that there're always ways to export accounting-correct information from bank websites that do match statements.


I mean maybe the bank's OFX files match its paper statements, but it's CSVs don't. Transactions happen in different orders (same day) but they also occasionally happen on different days- ie the 31st or the 1st of the month.

This is OK other than I set up balance assertions across my files to ensure all is good, and then I'll see mistakes, sometimes from more than one transaction at a time, which make them harder to figure out.

It's just annoying.

@emacsen how many dates for each transaction are you getting in the CSV file?

@emacsen that is definitely not enough information for reconciliation. Banks generally use up to 3 dates for each transaction, and you need to juggle at least with 2 of them for proper automated reconciliation.

I don't know for your case, but maybe there is a way to tweak CSV export (or other formats) to request more details, inlcudong the other dates.

Hoping this could be more useful than my initial reply!


Yeah I just think Capital One 360 is just sucky in this case. Maybe OFX is better.

How hard is it to write an OFX importer?

@emacsen trivial, but you can probably just use the stock one (I'm not using it myself). But I suggest asking around the beancount community for your specific case. Capital One is a popular bank, there could be even easier solutions.

@zacchiro Will try tomorrow. I guess I'll find a forum or list or something to ask on.

@emacsen the beancount mailing list is amazing (although on Google Groups...). The IRC channel not so active.

@emacsen failing that, you should switch to a different export format like OFX, or even (deity forbids) .xls


It's a mismatch on the bank's end, and when I change the dates in my beancount file to match the paper statements, all works.

It's just annoying I need to do that.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!